Serving Preschool Through 8th Grade in the San Francisco East Bay Since 1962
These questions and answers are intended to help you know more about our program. If you have a question not addressed here, please do not hesitate to contact us. Remember, the very best way for you to learn about Seven Hills is to come to our campus for a tour. We look forward to meeting you!

To schedule a tour or apply to Seven Hills, please click here. For more information regarding admissions, please contact Susanne Goldman, Director of Admissions and Tuition Assistance, at (925) 974-4984 or by email.

FAQs

List of 19 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Is Seven Hills accredited?

    Seven Hills holds the highest accreditation possible by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), a highly respected and valued organization within the educational community. Seven Hills is also a member of the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) and EBISA (East Bay Independent Schools Association).


  • Q: How is the Seven Hills curriculum determined?

    Our curriculum reflects the mission of Seven Hills. Administrators and teachers work cooperatively to craft innovative curricula designed to challenge students to achieve academic excellence while fostering a love of learning.
  • Q: Are academics taught in the Preschool program?

    The Preschool program for 3-year-olds emphasizes developmentally appropriate activities that allow children to grow socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.  Meaningful play, based on a child’s individual needs, builds these important foundations for the future.  Learning is sensory-based, as a child gathers meaning from the world through the experiences of touching, hearing, smelling, seeing and tasting.  The classroom follows a Reggio structure in which a child is free to choose individual areas of interest and in collaboration with teachers, learns about the world around them.  Please click here for a more thorough description of Seven Hills’ preschool program.
  • Q: In addition to the core curriculum, do Seven Hills students participate in special classes?

    The Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten programs visit the Library every week and enjoy Music and Spanish with our specialty teachers. Kindergarten through 5th Grades take Art, Music, P.E., Spanish, and spend time in the Library. The Middle School curriculum includes Integrated Expressive Arts, World Languages, Restorative Justice, P.E.and Emotional Well-Being. For all students, technology is built into the day-to-day curriculum and is not a stand-alone class. The practice of mindfulness is built into our classroom formats.
  • Q: Do Seven Hills students go on field trips?

    Field trips are an important aspect of the curriculum at Seven Hills. They are carefully chosen and planned to enrich the classroom learning experience. Typically, students go on several field trips a year. In the Middle School, students participate in multi-day trips to destinations within California, to Washington DC, to Japan and elsewhere they enjoy first-hand exposure to people and places, as well as hands-on learning experiences. For example, the Middle School students go on an outdoor science adventure in 6th grade; Washington DC in 7th grade; and Ashland, Oregon and Japan in 8th grade. Our 7th and 8th grade students travel to France and Costa Rica as part of their World Language Study.
  • Q: How can I get my child ready for the challenging academics of Seven Hills?

    In the younger grades, you can relax. Seven Hills teachers are quite adept at getting to know a student’s abilities at the start of the school year and differentiating instruction accordingly. In the older grades, your child’s new teacher may send a summer packet home for completion before school starts. In either case, we want to reduce your and your child’s anxiety about a new school – he or she will be welcomed and folded into the curriculum from the first day.
  • Q: My child is working above grade level in certain areas.  How will he be challenged at Seven Hills?

    We have a number of students working above grade level in specific areas. Because of a healthy teacher:student ratio, a stimulating open-ended curriculum, and experienced teachers, our students are engaged and appropriately challenged within their classroom. A majority of our 5th to 8th grade students qualify and participate in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Program, a national benchmark for high achievement.
  • Q: What is class size?

    In Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten, Seven Hills has a teacher:student ratio of 1:7 and 1:8, respectively. We target 2 classes of 18-20 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade; and our Middle School classes range in size from 6 to 22, dependent on subject and project.
  • Q: What is the length of the Seven Hills school day?

    Preschool hours:8:30am to 12:45pm
    Pre-K hours:8:30 a.m. to 2:00pm
    Kindergarten-2nd Grade hours:8:15am to 2:30pm
    3rd Grade hours:8:15am to 3:00pm
    4th Grade-5th Grade hours:8:00am to 3:00pm
    Middle School hours:8:00am to 3:20pm
    Seven Hills’ Extended Day program offers convenient, well-supervised programs which run from 7:00am until 6:00pm. Please click here for more information on Extended Day.
  • Q: Does Seven Hills have childcare before and after school?

    The Extended Day Program at Seven Hills shares the same mission and philosophy as the school day program. Careful consideration is given to the needs of the children it serves. Nutritious snacks are served, rest and nap times are provided for the youngest children, and a homework period is designated for children from grades one to eight. This service is available from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. for Seven Hills students. Click here for more information.

    A variety of after-school classes extend and complement students’ learning experience. Offerings may include Chess, Hip Hop Dance, Creative Writing, Drama, Somersaults and Spanish.
     
    Each summer, Seven Hills hosts our Shargel Science Camp for students ages 7-14. We also lease campus space to other camps including Adventure Day Camp. Whether your child enjoys physical activity, arts and crafts, academic projects, or simply lots of summer fun and adventure, there is a full range of choices for children ages 3 to 13.
  • Q: Does Seven Hills have an after-school sports program?

    Seven Hills has a strong commitment to its Middle School athletic program for both boys and girls. Participation is open to all who want to participate. We encourage participation not just among the most skilled, but also among those students who would like to learn a new sport or build upon the skills that they already have. We compete with other Middle Schools in the area.
  • Q: Does Seven Hills offer before and after-school transportation for students?

    Seven Hills offers morning transportation service from Danville, Alamo, Lafayette and Walnut Creek. As demand increases, we have the flexibility to add other areas. We do not offer afternoon transportation as we have found that our students disperse to such a wide variety of after-school activities, one service would not serve their collective needs.
  • Q: Do students wear uniforms at Seven Hills?

    At Seven Hills we have three distinct approaches to student dress, based on the age of the student.

    The ECE is a hands-on program in which students engage in lots of messy play. We recommend sturdy shoes that allow the student to climb, run, and play freely; and casual clothes that can come home “wearing the fun.” Because we go outside almost every day, we ask parents to provide warm clothes, and send boots and raincoats on rainy days. Our students are on the move and we want their clothes to move easily, and comfortably, with them.

    Our dress code in the Lower School has been developed for style, fit, price, durability and suitability. Our students wear school uniforms Monday-Thursday, and enjoy free dress on Friday. We recommend two sources for uniform clothing - our retail vendor, Lands' End, and our Second Time Around Shop on campus. The Second Time Around Shop is run by parent volunteers, and features gently used uniform clothing, at affordable prices. It is always chock full of clothes for both boys and girls, in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. Proceeds from the Second Time Around AShop go back to Seven Hills, for investment in our events and programs.

    The intent of our Middle School dress code is to provide education without distraction. Middle School students do not wear uniforms, but their dress reflects good taste. Middle School styles range as widely as the students who wear them; as long as our students are appropriately dressed and comfortable, we can focus on learning and growing together.

    New families are given our Parent and Student Handbook, in which more details on our dress code are available.
     
  • Q: How are the values of diversity and inclusion woven into the Seven Hills curriculum?

    Throughout all grade levels, and in age-appropriate ways, our curriculum incorporates a full spectrum of diversity and inclusion topics. Seven Hills’ developmental, hands-on learning model provides students with a safe and supportive environment to learn about their own uniqueness, explore that which they share in common with others and gain knowledge and insight about the community in which they live and the world beyond. Teachers provide a variety of opportunities for students to experience and learn about world cultures through lessons in language arts, history, foreign language, art and music. Cultural diversity is one aspect of our curriculum. To prepare our students for the world beyond Seven Hills, our teachers guide students to expand their knowledge and understanding of a range of social topics, e.g. equality and justice, conflict resolution, gender, sexual identity, environmentalism, and technology.
  • Q: What percentage of Seven Hills students represent diversity?

    Diversity is an essential component of the Seven Hills community as we prepare students to be responsible citizens beyond our fences. Our Seven Hills’ families are racially and ethnically diverse and their presence enriches our community of learning. We celebrate all that we have in common, and we teach and model respect for, and appreciation of, different experiences and perspectives. In addition to the 39% racial and ethnic diversity of our student population, our community benefits from a variety of cultural, religious, social and economic backgrounds; political views and family structures.
  • Q: What is your philosophy on discipline?

    Our goal is to create a positive learning environment that engenders the qualities of respect, responsibility, honesty, and compassion in our students. This environment promotes a cooperative approach to solving discipline problems at school, which is beneficial for students, faculty members and families. On those rare occasions when a student is unable to follow the common sense rules of the school, disciplinary steps are taken. The school maintains a zero tolerance policy for threats, harassment or acts of violence against the school or people in the school.
  • Q: What world language instruction is offered and when?

    We introduce Spanish through songs in the Early Childhood program. Spanish begins in Kindergarten and continues through 5th Grade. In the 6th Grade, students decide whether to continue with Spanish or to begin French, both of which are offered in the 6th through 8th grades. Also, 8th grade students can attend a Japanesse language class, in anticipation of our Japanese cultural exchange program, which includes hosting Japanese students for a week on our campus, and traveling to Japan a few months later.
  • Q: Does Seven Hills offer financial aid?

    We are excited to offer a Seven Hills education to students from a variety of economic circumstances. We offer a tuition assistance program for those with demonstrated need. Tuition assistance award packages include field trip expenses as well. For priority consideration for current and new families, the tuition assistance committee follows strict deadlines.  For more information about the tuition assistance process, please click here.
  • Q: How are parents involved at Seven Hills?

    Our partnership with parents has a long history at Seven Hills. The high quality and wide variety of programs are possible because of parents’ generosity and commitment. While each family is required to serve a minimum of 16 hours a year, they typically go beyond this expectation. In aggregate, parent volunteers have annually worked the number of hours equivalent to 7 full-time staff members.
The faculty, staff, parents and children have all been more than we ever expected. Being a part of the Seven Hills community has been very rewarding for our entire family. The curriculum, enrichment offerings and school gatherings are top notch. We want the best education for our children and truly feel this is the best school for them. Enjoying the learning experience now, but also lining them up for success in the future is most important to us. - Seven Hills Parent